Dos and Don’ts if you suffer from sinusitis

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Sinus infection, also called sinusitis is a common infection that affects around 35 million Americans each year.

Your sinuses, when healthy, are filled with air, but when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection which then leads to inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses.

Doctors at RiteCare Medical Center – your reliable medical center in Hialeah, share their best advice on what to do or not to do when you have sinusitis.

1. Do: Go to school or work

Good news: sinusitis isn’t contagious so you won’t spread sinusitis to classmates or co-workers. However, we advise that you return to your normal activities only when you feel well enough.

2. Do: Choose OTC drugs carefully

Easily available OTC drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can make your symptoms better. Nasal sprays may help decongesting your stuffy nose but if taken for more than a few days they make actually make your symptoms worse!

Do not self-medicate! It is better to consult the specialists at our medical center in Hialeah and receive a correct diagnosis and an adequate treatment plan.

3. Do: Stay hydrated

To help flush the virus out of your system, make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces of water every two hours. Aside from water, you can also drink other fluids such as herbal tea. Hot or warm liquids also help ease stuffiness in your nose.

4. Do: Use an air humidifier

Fresh, cool and moist air can be soothing for your nose and make it feel less stuffy. Ensure you keep the water clean at all times – empty the tank every day and wash it out before you refill it. We strongly suggest this once-a-week routine: clean the tank with diluted bleach or lemon juice to keep mold and bacteria away.

Extra tip: Exposing you sinuses to steam during hot showers will help decongesting your nose. Try also filling a bowl with boiling water and lean over it for 10 minutes with both your head and the bowl covered with a thick towel. Keep your nose approximately 10 inches above the water. 

Be careful not to start out too close to the hot water and to keep your eyes closed. As the liquid cools, you can move in a little, but only to the poin{“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“46f44bc7-838f-4890-8efc-9105c629eb2d”],”srcRootClientId”:””}t where it remains comfortable! You might want to add a drop or two of essential oils; eucalyptus oil can help open the nose, while lavender essential oil or chamomile essential oil will calm you.

5. Do: Use a warm compress for relief

Warm compresses produce moist heat that can help relieve the pressure in your sinuses. As a result, the blocked passages in your nose will open up, easing the pain. You can simply wet a towel with warm water then hold the towel against your nose or put it over your face. You may also get a basin and fill it with hot water. While facing the basin, put a cloth over your head and breathe in the steam. Alternatively, taking a hot shower can also help loosen mucus and reduce sinus pressure.

6. Do: Try sinus rinse or nasal irrigation

Sinus rinse, nasal irrigation, nasal wash, or nasal lavage — there are many names for it, but they all do the same thing. When you do a sinus rinse, you’re basically cleaning the inside of your nose. As it is meant to flush out mucus and allergens, it also clears up sinus congestion.

There are squeeze bottles specifically designed for nasal irrigation. You can also get a neti pot. Make sure you use a sterile saline solution when you do nasal rinsing. To do it, lean over the sink. Then, using a squeeze bottle or neti pot, squirt the sterile solution up one nostril. The solution will flow through the nasal cavity and drain through the other nostril. Keep in mind not to breathe through your nose while you do it and keep your mouth open. 

7. Do: Exercise if you can

Moderate to severe sinusitis symptoms can easily leave you feeling weak and incapable of doing any strenuous physical activity. However, if you think your body is up for it, it’s totally alright to exercise. You need to listen to your body, though, and avoid exercises that require too much effort. Sinusitis can cause dizziness and affect coordination. It can also make it harder to breathe. If you notice that you’re having trouble breathing or you have pressure in your chest, rest. Performing vigorous routines when your breathing is not normal can take a toll on your heart.

8. Do: Avoid triggers of nasal allergies

Nasal allergies can cause sinus problems like a runny nose, nasal congestion, nasal pressure, and headaches. Of course, it’s not just in Florida where you can get allergies, so changing states is not a solution. If you’re susceptible to nasal allergies, it’s vital that you recognize your triggers and steer clear of them. Some of the most common allergy triggers include pets, pollen, and dust mites. Furthermore, you may also consider getting your allergies treated. 

9. Don’t: Breathe in irritating agents

In order to soothe your sinuses rather than inflame them, avoid inhaling fumes from harsh cleaning agents, strong perfumes, chemical hair spray, and other similar products. As much as possible, opt for organic and “green” products that don’t emit harsh smells.

Moreover, you should also stay away from places where you may inhale cigarette smoke. Ask family and friends to avoid smoking in your home as well. And did you know that smoking makes it more likely you’ll get another round of sinusitis? So to all smokers: quit! Also, try to stay indoors if air pollution levels are high.

10. Don’t: Travel by air

The high pressure on board an aircraft raises chances of ear pain and may increase the inflammation.

If you really have to take a flight, drink plenty of water during the flight as swallowing protects against clogged ears. Yawn and swallow when the plane climbs after takeoff and as it descends before landing. That will help keep the tubes between your nasal passages and your ears clear.

Also, remember that hundreds of people in a confined space of a plane cabin make it a rather non-sterile environment where you may be exposed to a plethora of bacteria and viruses. When your immune system is compromised your body may be prone to catch infections it normally fights off easily.

11. Don’t: Drink alcohol

If you suffer from a sinus infection, drink plenty of fluids but not those which dehydrates you. And alcohol dehydrates you very quickly (coffee does that too!). Alcohol may irritate the lining of your nose and make it swell and that will make your symptoms even worse.

12. Don’t: Swim in a pool

While study results vary greatly, it is highly likely that chlorine in pools can irritate nasal passageways. If you want to exercise and your body is craving for a swim, it might help to use nose clips. 

Get Lasting Sinusitis Relief: Schedule a Consultation at Our Medical Center in Hialeah

When not diagnosed and treated correctly, sinusitis has the potential to disrupt your life. Sinusitis symptoms, including a runny nose, headaches, and nasal congestion, can keep you from performing daily activities well. Additionally, you may also feel tired a lot when you have sinusitis.

However, you don’t have to suffer from recurring sinusitis. Our medical team composed of experienced and certified doctors and staff can help you get lasting sinusitis relief. It all starts with proper evaluation and diagnosis. Schedule a consultation at RiteCare Medical Center Hialeah so our doctor can provide a professional diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment and medication. 

We also encourage patients to take advantage of our services for telemedicina in Hialeah. Call (305) 200-1225 to learn more and seek urgent care for sinusitis and other symptoms or conditions.

Read more about RiteCare– the best walk-in clinic near you!


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.